Yeovil Town Ladies: Championship licence denied and club to go down two tiers

Yeovil Town Ladies were one of 11 sides in England’s top flight in 2018-19

Yeovil Town Ladies will drop down two divisions from the Women’s Super League after the Football Association rejected their bid for a second-tier licence.

The club finished bottom of this term’s WSL and had expected to be relegated to the Championship, but have been told they do not meet the relevant criteria.

An FA spokesperson said Yeovil were unable to provide sufficient evidence that they could meet the requirements.

The club insisted they had submitted a “viable and sensible business plan”.

Yeovil, who won promotion to the top flight in 2016, were given a 10-point deduction by the FA – who run the WSL – on 28 March.

The points penalty was a result of the club informing the FA of their initial intention to appoint an administrator, even though staffing cuts and financial support from the FA meant insolvency was avoided.

Administrators were never formally appointed, but the Glovers opted not to appeal against the 10-point sanction, and were hopeful of competing in next season’s Championship as a part-time club.

However, BBC Sport understands that, in a catch-22 situation, the club were unable to confirm sponsorship deals for 2019-20 without clarity over their status, and the FA requested to see proof of sponsorship income before agreeing to a Championship licence.

An FA spokesperson said: “The FA women’s football board has confirmed that Yeovil Town Ladies FC did not meet the required criteria to be awarded a tier-two licence for the 2019-20 season.

“The club was unable to provide sufficient evidence that it could meet the key minimum requirements of the tier-two licence.

READ  Everton's Wilfried Zaha transfer bid hit by double blow as Crystal Palace dig in

“The FA will continue to work closely with Yeovil to fully support their move into tier three for the start of next season and to ensure their academy players’ dual career programme combining academic study and football is maintained.”

‘So many people are incredibly disappointed’

Staff at the Somerset club are understood to be devastated and heartbroken by the outcome.

But, having had their application rejected, they say they will now aim to “prove the doubters wrong once again”.

“So many people associated with this wonderful football club will be incredibly disappointed and rightly so,” said a club statement.